Chapter 7 article written by Columbia, SC bankruptcy lawyer Daniel Stone
Many of my clients “convert” to a different bankruptcy chapter after filing for different reasons. The main reason why a debtor converts is because they started in a Chapter 13 to save their home, and they no longer need the protection of the bankruptcy automatic stay. In a case like this, instead of just dismissing the case, the debtor will often choose to convert to a Chapter 7 in order to wipe out or “discharge” their credit card, medical bills, and other unsecured debts. The biggest benefit to the debtor is that they they no longer have a Chapter 13 plan payment they have to make.
Additionally, sometimes debtors start in a Chapter 7 and choose to convert to a Chapter 13. This is a little less common than converting from a Chapter 13 to a Chapter 7. Also, the law used to be that a debtor had an absolute right to convert from a Chapter 7 to a Chapter 13, however a recent Supreme Court decision states this right is not absolute and a Trustee could challenge the conversion. Miranda
Some final notes on conversion. There is a filing fee to convert and most bankruptcy attorneys charge a fee to convert your case. Additionally, there are some red flag areas to be careful of. Please be wary of prior Chapter 7 filings prior to converting, double check your asset exemptions, and review your intentions in regards to your secured loans with your attorney.
Article Written by: Attorney Daniel Stone, Stone Law Firm, LLC